Administering Idaho's Workers' Compensation Law

Session Descriptions and Speaker Bios

Keynote Address (back)

Transforming Healthcare, Achieving the Triple Aim

Presented by David C. Pate, MD, JD, FACP, FACHE

Dr. Pate will focus on the accountable care model and how it can transform healthcare, resulting in better health, better care and lower costs. The presentation will cover the external forces impacting the current healthcare delivery system and define "Better Health", "Better Care", and "Lower Cost".

David C. Pate, M.D., J.D., is president and chief executive officer of St. Luke’s Health System (SLHS), based in Boise, Idaho. Dr. Pate received his bachelor of arts degree from Rice University, his medical degree from Baylor College of Medicine, and his law degree cum laude from the University of Houston Law Center. He completed his residency training at Baylor College of Medicine and is board-certified in internal medicine.  He is a Fellow of the American College of Physicians and a Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives.

Dr. Pate joined St. Luke’s Health System, a network of seven hospitals, a children’s hospital, a nationally recognized cancer center, and more than 100 clinics throughout southern Idaho and into eastern Oregon, in 2009 following executive positions in Houston. Dr. Pate works to transform St. Luke’s into an integrated healthcare network that includes service partnerships and relationships with other healthcare organizations in the region, and to ensure the financial foundation that supports the visionary development of St. Luke’s Health System. He is committed to developing accountable care in the region, and believes SLHS will become a national leader in health care as the organization demonstrates the transformation needed to deliver the highest possible quality, in the safest manner, achieving the best possible outcomes, at the lowest possible cost.

He is an author, teacher, lecturer, community volunteer, and active member of community and professional boards and committees. The father of two adult daughters, Dr. Pate lives in Boise with his wife, Lynette.

10:45 a.m. - 11:45 a.m. Sessions (back)

Panel Perspective: Claim Management for All Parties

Presented by: Dr. Cody Heiner, Judy Wise, Stephanie Goslin, Cindy Hendricks

A multi-discipline panel discussion on the workers' compensation claim process. Employer, Medical Provider, and Claims Adjuster perspectives on workers' compensation claims from beginning to end from claim set-up and paperwork to return to transitional and full-duty work and all the vital steps in between.

Cody Heiner, MD, MPH, is the Medical Director of St. Luke's Occupational Health in the Treasure Valley. He is board certified in Occupational and Environmental Medicine, and is a certified Medical Review Officer. He provides comprehensive health-related services for employers and employees, including work injury medical care, drug and alcohol testing, employee physicals, disability evaluations, impairment ratings, and immunizations.
Dr. Heiner earned his medical degree from the University of Iowa College of Medicine and completed his general clinical internship and Occupational Medicine residency at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics. He earned his Master of Public Health degree from the University of Iowa College of Public Health.

Judy Wise, Senior Human Resources Manager at Woodgrain Millwork, Inc. has worked in the Wood Products industry for 40 years, primarily in manufacturing plants with as many as 1200 employees. Judy's experience encompasses all personnel functions, including safety and workers' compensation. Judy has written and implemented Safety Plans and Return to Work Plans and has extensive experience working closely with injured employees, providers, and carriers.

Cindy Hendrickson, Sr. Claims Examiner with St. Luke's Health Systems, is responsible for the investigation and administration of St. Luke's employee workers' compensation claims. Her role encompasses verifying compensability of claims, maintaining relationships with medical providers and other members of the case management team and communicating with those involved with the claim. Cindy has extensive experience with workers' compensation and is a Certified Idaho Workers' Compensation Specialist.

Stephanie Goslin is the Office Manager of Alsco. She has worked for Alsco for 29 years managing all office functions and gaining experience in various capacities including organizing and supervising staff, performing reconciliations, auditing, financial analysis, payroll, and HR functions. Stephanie lives in Sweet, Idaho with her husband Rod where they raise registered black angus cattle.

Exploring the Knee

Presented by: Dr. Brian Tallerico

The human knee is an amazing joint, the largest in the body and one of the most susceptible to injury. Injury patterns can vary from simple sprains/strains to severe fractures. Dr. Tallerico will cover the basic anatomy of the knee, differentiate between minor and major knee injuries, and return to work issues associated with knee injuries.

As a US Navy Surgeon from 2002-2006, Dr. Tallerico performed Independent Medical Examinations on a regular basis in the Seattle area. After moving to Wyoming in 2006, Dr. Tallerico continued to perform IMEs in his office, Salt River Orthopaedics resulting in over 10 years of IME experience and over 5,000 examinations performed.

Dr. Tallerico earned his Bachelor of Arts at Washington and Jefferson College and his Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine at Midwestern University. He completed a fellowship in Knee Reconstruction and Arthroplasty and is board certified by the American Osteopathic Board of Orthopaedic Surgery.

Truly Difficult People

Presented by: Jeri Mae Rowley

In this session you will learn how to recognize the distinction between "different" people and "truly difficult" people, build a toolkit of effective coping strategies and take steps to minimize the negative impacts of difficult behaviors, and begin an action plan for coping with your most difficult customer, coworker, supervisor, or employee.

A Master Trainer and Motivational Speaker, Jeri Mae has developed and delivered customized programs for hundreds of public and private organizations in 29 states, Canada, and the US Virgin Islands. Jeri Mae has earned state and national recognition for her success as a leader and educator including the prestigious "Visiting Scholar Award" from the National Tourism Foundation and the Montana State SHRM "Above and Beyond" award. She has served as President of numerous organizations including: Chamber of Commerce, Convention and Visitors Bureau, Society for Human Resource Managers, Montana Speakers Association and College Faculty Senate and the four-state National Speakers Association: Mountain West Chapter leading speaking professionals in Utah, Montana, Idaho and Wyoming. She also served as a Leadership Advisor on the Chapter Leadership Council of the National Speakers Association.

As a tenured college faculty, Jeri Mae instructed courses in entrepreneurship, marketing, travel and human resource management. Jeri Mae has a Masters in Human Resource Management and is currently pursuing a Doctor of Education degree researching Emotional Intelligence in Leadership.

1:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m. Session (back)

Breaking the Cycle of Entitlement: How Do We Get Better?

Presented by Robert Wilson

In the face of increasing disability rates and a growing entitlement mentality across the nation, we will take a proactive look at potential changes the industry can make to improve care and return to work outcomes. The session will look at improved communication and understanding within the industry, as well as a shift from "process and close" to "Recover and Return" mentalities.

Bob is a founding partner, President & CEO of, based in Sarasota Florida. He has presented at seminars and conferences on a variety of topics, related to both technology within the workers' compensation industry, and bettering the workers' compensation system through improved employee/employer relations and claims management techniques. He is the author of "From Bob's Cluttered Desk", a blog selected as a top workers' compensation blog by LexisNexis.

With an extensive business management and human resource background, Bob brings a strong employer and corporate voice to the workers' compensation arena. Known for an extraordinary sense of humor, his presentations reflect both entertaining and practical advice.

He was raised in Durango, Colorado and is a graduate of Fort Lewis College. He resides with his wife in Sarasota.

2:15 p.m - 3:15 p.m. Sessions (back)

Epidural Steroids: Studies, Experience, and Clinical Guidelines

Presented by Michael Weiss, MD, MPH, FACOEM, FAAPMR, FAANEM

In this session Dr. Weiss will present case reviews of epidural steroid injections from the Idaho State Insurance Fund. Attendees of this presentation will learn to differentiate between the placebo effect, statistical significance, and clinical significance for health outcomes.

Dr. Michael Weiss received his medical degree from the University of California, San Francisco and masters degree in epidemiology from the University of California, Berkeley.  He did residency training at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, Stanford University and the University of California, San Francisco.  He is board certified and a fellow in Occupational Medicine, Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, and Neuromuscular and Electrodiagnostic Medicine. 

He has practiced clinical medicine in Boise, Idaho, for 25 years, working at St. Lukes Regional Medical Center and at the Idaho Elks Rehabilitation Hospital.  He has also worked as a consultant for a number of corporations and agencies, including the Idaho Power Company, Idaho Northern and Pacific Railroad, Idaho State Insurance Fund, Idaho Division of Vocational Rehabilitation, and Paradigm Corp.  He has been on the clinical faculty at the University of Washington in the Department of Environmental and Occupational Health and the Department of Rehabilitation Medicine. 

He is a member of many professional organizations and has been on the Clinical Practice Guidelines committee for the ACOEM for a number of years, participating and rewriting and updating the guides and was chairman of the methodology committee for the most recent revision.  He has presented on various topics regarding work injury, disability and impairment evaluation.

He is also a designated medical evaluator for the FAA and a certified flight instructor.  He has taught back county flying and writes a column on aviation medicine for the Idaho Division of Aeronautics.   He recently returned from Peace Corps service as a volunteer in Albania, and is back working part time for St. Lukes Occupational Health Services clinic and as a medical consultant.

Pitfalls of Compensability

Presented by Scott McDougall

The Idaho Industrial Commission Benefits Department will lead this fast paced interactive session which will cover what should and shouldn't be used to determine claim compensability. Special guest attorneys will face off and argue two real case scenarios surrounding the compensability of wage loss benefits and compensability of medical apportionment. Participants will also engage in a question and answer session around specific compensability examples.

Scott McDougall is the Manager of the Claims and Benefits Administration Department for the Idaho Industrial Commission. Scott graduated from the University of Utah with a degree in Political Science and from Boise State University with a degree in Finance. He is certified as a Quality Assurance Auditor by the American Society for Quality and served as Chairman of the Southwest Idaho section for the body.

Wellness Programs: What's Changed Under the Affordable Care Act?

Presented by Corey Surber, MHS

The presentation will provide an overview of the latest trends in wellness programs (both workplace and community wellness), and changes within the Affordable Care Act with implications for wellness programming. Examples will be provided of tools being used to incentivize healthy behaviors and control healthcare costs. Attendees will better understand the changes under the Affordable Care Act which impact community and workplace wellness programming and understand the tools that are being used to drive healthy behaviors and control healthcare costs.

Corey Surber currently serves as Executive Director of Community Health & Public Policy for Saint Alphonsus Health System, and has been with Saint Alphonsus for the past 20 years. Corey is also an adjunct professor at Boise State University, teaching graduate and undergraduate courses dealing with health policy, health delivery systems and health care quality. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree from College of Idaho, and a Master of Health Science degree from Boise State University. Corey is also the Board Chair for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Ada County, Chair of the IACI General Business Committee, Board Member of the United Way of Treasure Valley, and a member of the Community Benefit Committee of the Catholic Health Association of the United States. She has received the President's Award from the Idaho Public Health Association and the Honored Alumni Award from Boise State University.

3:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m. Sessions (back)

Case Law Review - He said She said

Presented by Susan Veltman and Richard Owen

Susan Veltman and Richard Owen summarize and analyze key cases issued during the past year by the Idaho Supreme Court and the Idaho Industrial Commission.

Susan is an AV rated attorney with 18 years of experience defending workers’ compensation claims.  She received a bachelor’s degree in Kinesiology from the University of Texas in Austin in 1989 and went on to earn her J.D. from South Texas College of Law in 1993.  She started her career with an insurance defense firm in Houston.  In 1995, Susan moved to Austin to join the firm of Flahive, Ogden & Latson where she worked exclusively in workers’ compensation defense throughout Texas for the next 12 years.  She was among the first group of attorneys to become board certified in workers’ compensation by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization.  When Susan moved to Idaho in 2007, she worked as a Referee and Mediator for the Idaho Industrial Commission.  In 2009, she returned to private practice with the workers’ compensation defense firm of Gardner & Breen.  By 2011, the firm became known as Gardner, Breen & Veltman.   Susan most recently joined forces with Lora Breen and Emma Wilson to form Breen Veltman Wilson PLLC, in Boise, Idaho, where she will continue her representation of employers and insurance companies in workers’ compensation matters.

Richard Owen, Attorney at Law, has been practicing law since 1981. Mr. Owen earned his bachelor's degree in History from Lewis and Clark College and went on to earn his J.D. from Lewis and Clark Law School. Richard was President of Idaho Trial Lawyers from 2010-2011 and is Board Certified as a specialist in Workers' Compensation cases by the Idaho Trial Lawyers and the Idaho State Bar and is the current President of the Idaho Trial Lawyers Association. Richard has also been the Chair of the Workers' Compensation section of the Idaho State Bar.

Conflict Is

Presented by Jeri Mae Rowley

Whether you're an active participant or mediating between others, conflict is a fact of life at work and home. When faced with conflict, most resort to fallback strategies like avoidance, submission, bargaining or battles --The end results? More conflict, damaged morale, higher turnover and lost productivity. Conflict is a fact of life. Conflict is inherent in every relationship. Conflict is part of every work place. Dealing with conflict is an essential life skill.

See above for Speaker Bio


Guest speakers are invited to provide information on various topics related to the workers’ compensation field. While the Commission discusses topics in advance with speakers, we do not attempt to control content of the presentations or instructional materials. Statements made by speakers do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Industrial Commission, nor are such statements endorsed as the policy of the Industrial Commission.

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